Darby Kane thrills with this twisty domestic suspense novel that asks one central question: shouldn't a dead husband stay dead?
Lila Ridgefield lives in an idyllic college town, but not everything is what it seems. Lila isn’t what she seems.
A student vanished months ago. Now, Lila’s husband, Aaron, is also missing. At first these cases are treated as horrible coincidences until it’s discovered the student is really the third of three unexplained disappearances over the last few years. The police are desperate to find the connection, if there even is one. Little do they know they might be stumbling over only part of the truth….
With the small town in an uproar, everyone is worried about the whereabouts of their beloved high school teacher. Everyone except Lila, his wife. She’s definitely confused about her missing husband but only because she was the last person to see his body, and now it’s gone.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
After reading this chilling domestic thriller, we may never look at our most charming, upstanding neighbours the same way again. From the outside, Lila Ridgefield’s life seems smooth and seamless: She’s a successful real-estate agent and her husband, Aaron, is a beloved high-school teacher. But when Aaron goes missing, the police start to connect some very unsettling dots between his disappearance and a chain of missing girls that has haunted the town. Darby Kane’s breathless debut follows the unravelling of Lila’s seemingly perfect life, morphing into a twisted and completely unpredictable cat-and-mouse chase. Like a thrilling true-crime podcast, Pretty Little Wife is the kind of story you want to binge.
Early in Kane's intriguing if uneven debut, Lila Ridgefield murders her abusive husband, popular teacher Aaron Payne, and leaves him overnight in his car at the Ithaca, N.Y., high school where he teaches, staging the scene to look like a suicide. The first hint that her plan may not unfold seamlessly is when his body disappears. Has Aaron survived, and is he returning for revenge? Or is someone else determined to take justice into their own hands? The answers are rooted in a shocking and all-too-believable evil hiding beneath the peaceful community. Despite the detailed scene-setting and gripping plot, some readers may find the constant cross-cutting across time frames and points of view feels forced. Those who prefer fair play may feel cheated by Kane's withholding key characters and events only to introduce them deep in the book. Nonetheless, the detective on the case, Ginny Davis, is a nuanced character many will hope to meet again, and the plot twists reinforce the central moral ambiguity driving the story: How far will a woman go when she discovers she's married to a monster? Kane is off to a promising start. \n